Bridge: Oct. 16, 2023

“I think I’m basically a good person,” a club player told me, “but the way I react when someone drives like a turtle in the left lane makes me wonder. And long huddles at the bridge table drive me nuts.”

My friend was today’s North.

“When my partner opened four diamonds,” she said, “I raised. I wish I hadn’t. West led a heart, and my partner took dummy’s ace, drew trumps and disappeared into a mull, consulting regularly with the ceiling. He finally led the A-K and a third club. West won and led a spade, and East got two spades for down one. All that thought for nothing.”


I sympathize. Players need to think, but I like to see a card played every so often. And a little thought early in the play can avoid fruitless thought later.

South must play dummy’s deuce on the first heart. If East wins and returns a heart, South discards a club, takes the king of trumps and the K-A of clubs, and ruffs a club. He draws trumps in dummy and throws two spades on the good clubs.


You hold: S K 8 7 H A 2 D A 6 3 C A 9 8 4 2. Your partner opens one heart, the next player overcalls one spade and you bid two clubs. Your partner raises to three clubs. What do you say?

ANSWER: Since you have good controls, including a king of spades that is worth as much as an ace, slam is possible. Your partner might hold a minimum such as 43,KQ1076,K7,KQ73 that would make six clubs a fine spot. Bid three diamonds to see how he reacts. You will bid a lot more.

South dealer

Both sides vulnerable


S K 8 7

H A 2

D A 6 3

C A 9 8 4 2


S Q 9 5 2

H Q 9 5 3

D 7 4

C Q 10 6


S A J 10 3

H K J 10 8 6 4

D 2

C J 5


S 6 4

H 7

D K Q J 10 9 8 5

C K 7 3

South West North East
4 D Pass 5 D All Pass
Opening lead — H 3

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